The City of Chicago Board of Education will have to face trial on charges brough by former student Amontae Williams alleging its Quiet Tie program was a forced religious exercise.
The lawsuit centers around the implementation of a program called “Quiet Time” in several Chicago public schools, which the students claim included elements of the Hindu religion and a practice known as Transcendental Meditation.
The program was hosted at Bogan from 2017 to 2019. Hudgin and Green were students at Bogan during the 2018-2019 school year.
The Board approved the program and entered into a services contract with DLF to operate it, the Complaint alleged. The University of Chicago was permitted to conduct a study researching and evaluating the effects of the program.
Williams claims the program had “hidden religious” elements, including an initiation ceremony where instructors placed items around a picture of a former teacher of Transcendental Meditation, chanted in Sanskrit and performed rehearsed movements.
The Complaint also alleged the students were required to chant mantras, which were Sanskrit words, without explanation of the meanings and had to take an oath of secrecy.
U.S. District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly of the Northern District of Illinois has allowed the students’ section 1983 claims for damages against the Board and DLF to continue for jury trial scheduled for October 10th, 2023.
The University of Chicago was dismissed as a defendant in the case.
Williams is represented by Judith A. Kott, Robin J. Rubrecht, and John W. Mauck of Mauck & Baker, LLC, a well as Sorin A. Leahu of Leahu Law Group, LLC.
Prayer for justice is earnestly requested as well as blessing on Judge Kennelly and opposing counsel.